COLLEGE PARK - - Maryland coach Gary Williams insisted this week that his Terps wouldn't be distracted by the thought of their impending trip to paradise and potential matchups with other high-profile teams in this year's Maui Invitational.
Maybe Maryland just pretended that New Hampshire was another school located in a place called Durham.
It didn't take long for Maryland to realize that this team, from bucolic Durham, N.H., wasn't that other team, from Durham, N.C. The Terps took control early and turned in their most consistent performance of the season, cruising to an 82-55 victory at Comcast Center.
Senior forward Landon Milbourne led No. 25 Maryland (3-0) with a career-high 24 points, helping the Terps build a 20-point lead late in the first half and pushing the lead to as many as 35 after a 16-0 run in the second half. Senior guard Eric Hayes added 15 points and sophomore guard Sean Mosley had his first career double double, with 13 points and a career-high 10 assists.
"We hit shots, and that's the one big difference from last year's team. We start the game pretty good and we end the game pretty good, and we know how to close the game this year," Mosley said.
It might also be the formula to get the Terps some wins next week. Maryland leaves today for its trip to Hawaii, where the Terps will face host Chaminade on Monday before the competition gets tougher the next two days.
"We've learned a lot. We play the same three teams that most teams play in the country," Williams said of his team's wins over Charleston Southern, Fairfield and New Hampshire. "That's the way it goes. Then you get into a good tournament. We know that we compete hard, we know we're unselfish and we have a good team unity that will help us in tough games."
Though Milbourne, Hayes and Mosley have each started well this season, the biggest concern for the Terps going into Maui appears to be the play of Greivis Vasquez.
The senior guard, picked by many as a preseason All-American, continues to struggle offensively. Vasquez, who came into Friday's game averaging just eight points and shooting six of 25 from the field, finished with eight points on 4-for-8 shooting.
"I think we can win both ways. If we have three of the four guys in double figures and Greivis is not scoring like we're used to, I think we can still win games," Hayes said. "He still brings things to the table - rebounding, assists, leadership. I think we win either way. I'm pretty sure he will pick his game up and start scoring a little more."
Asked whether he was happy with the way Vasquez has played, Williams said: "This year is a different situation for him. He's gotten a lot of national attention. I'm sure he felt last year he didn't get as much attention as he should have. He'll respond to it. One thing about Greivis, he's a great competitor. He's passing up a couple of things that he should be taking. But he'll see that on tape. His ability with the ball, it's special."
Maryland has not needed Vasquez's offense so far, but the Terps could need it once they reach Hawaii.
Against New Hampshire (1-1), it was Hayes and Milbourne who helped the Terps run off the game's first nine points and never look back. Maryland led by 32-12 late in the first half and built its lead to 67-32 midway through the second half. Milbourne shot 9-for-15 from the field and Hayes was 4-for-5, including 3-for-4 on 3-pointers.
"He shows up and he plays like Eric Hayes, that's the best way to describe him," Williams said. "That's about the calmest 15 I've seen."
NEW HAMPSHIRE-Diliegro 2-3 1-1 5, Rhoads 1-6 0-0 2, Conley 2-13 0-0 5, Abreu 2-6 3-5 9, Benson 1-1 2-2 4, Graham 1-4 3-5 5, Valladares 0-0 0-0 0, Myrick 0-2 0-0 0, Santos 5-10 0-0 14, Onguetou 3-5 0-0 9, Matagrano 1-1 0-0 2. Totals 18-51 9-13 55. MARYLAND-Milbourne 9-15 4-4 24, Hayes 4-5 4-4 15, Mosley 4-5 5-6 13, Williams 3-5 2-3 8, Vasquez 4-8 0-0 8, Levent 0-0 0-0 0, Bowie 1-4 0-0 2, Pearman 0-1 0-0 0, Tucker 3-5 0-0 6, Padgett 2-5 2-6 6. Totals 30-53 17-23 82. Half-Maryland 40-22. 3-point goals-New Hampshire 10-31 (Santos 4-9, Onguetou 3-4, Abreu 2-5, Conley 1-8, Myrick 0-1, Graham 0-2, Rhoads 0-2), Maryland 5-11 (Hayes 3-4, Milbourne 2-2, Tucker 0-1, Vasquez 0-1, Pearman 0-1, Bowie 0-2). Fouled out-Diliegro. Rebounds-New Hampshire 31 (Graham 8), Maryland 32 (Williams 7). Assists-New Hampshire 13 (Abreu, Graham, Santos 3), Maryland 23 (Mosley 10). Total fouls-New Hampshire 23, Maryland 14. A-17,180.
EA SPORTS MAUI INVITATIONAL No. 25 MARYLAND @CHAMINADE
Monday, 9:30 p.m.
Radio: 105.7 FM,